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Intergenerational Fitness in Adams County, PA

Posted: August 30, 2013

The Adams County 4-H 5K Fitness Club is off to a running start! Over 15 Adams County young people and 10 parents meet weekly to get moving. Under the direction of Tanya Lamo, these young athletes are setting goals, meeting them and getting fit! Each week on Saturdays, the 4-H members and their parents meet at the Gettysburg High School track, talk about goal setting, running equipment, pace, proper exercise habits, and then begin moving.
Members of the Adams County 4-H 5K Fitness Club after a two-hour training session at the local high school. Photo: Tanya Lamo.

Members of the Adams County 4-H 5K Fitness Club after a two-hour training session at the local high school. Photo: Tanya Lamo.

During the first meeting the goal was to alternate walking and running for 2 minutes for a 30 minute period of time. By the third week the kids and parents were already walking 3 minutes and running for 5 minutes during a 30 minute session. By using this incremental training structure, the children and parents can set small attainable goals and have success all while improving their pace and ability to stay running for a longer period of time. Each lap around the track, everyone grabs a rubber band bracelet, snaps it on their wrist and keeps going. This lets them know how far they have gone. It also encourages them to push a little harder and gauge their progress immediately. Over time, members build endurance and condition their bodies to running for longer periods of time.

Having an intergenerational fitness program is something that is motivating for children and their parents.  It creates a positive environment when kids are cheering on their parents to succeed and parents are cheering on their children. It also creates some family friendly competition that is always a great motivator.

One of the highlights for members of the 5K Fitness Club was completing a 5K race (3.1 miles) at the 4-H 5K Move-A-Thon event held at the lovely Oakside Community Park (Biglerville, PA) on May 19, 2013. Over 45 participants, ranging in age from 7 to 60, took part in this event.

It’s not too late to set a goal, get outside, and get moving. For information about the 5K Fitness Club and other intergenerational fitness opportunities in Adams County, contact Tanya E. Lamo, 4-H Program Assistant, Adams County 4-H, Penn State Extension Adams County Office, Phone: 717-334-6271, E-mail: AdamsExt@psu.edu.